Tuesday 30 June 2015

12 Packing Problems only a woman will understand

Sometimes they packing problems that women encounter are just about enough to make you want to stay at home! Yes, going places and travelling the world is great and all, but THE PACKING! WHY!?

1. You feel the urge to pack for every conceivable situation. You’ve never worn that long fancy dress before, but what if you want to go to a really nice dinner? What if some millionaire wants to take you dancing on his yacht? It could happen!

2. You have to squeeze your purse into your carry-on tote so you can actually bring three bags on board.

3. You have to fit all your cosmetics into that little toiletries pouch. Insane. Unrealistic. How are you supposed to live?

4. You can't abide by those ridiculous liquid container size restrictions. What? Do they think there is a bomb inside your moisturizer? The airport security jerks are totally just trying to steal your cosmetics!

5. You realise that you need to do laundry before your pack. But also, you realise that is just not going to happen.

6. You have to figure out how to keep your suitcase from weighing more than 50 pounds. The only thing worse than paying the excess baggage fee is paying the excess baggage fee after unpacking your bag in front of the entire airport, a fistful of underwear in your hand, in a vain attempt to transfer those last 4 pounds to your already stuffed carry-on.

7. You have to pick a different outfit for every day. Stress. And you know deep down that you will never stick to any of the choices you've made.

8. You want to leave room for the extra stuff you plan to buy on your trip, but you're completely unable to do so. You have to fill every available inch of suitcase space or else you're just inviting a fashion disaster to happen while you're on vacation.

9. You try to pick a "packing style" in order to get as much stuff into your bags as possible. Are you a roll packer or a vacuum packer? What if you can't re-vacuum your stuff when you come back? Maybe if you sit on your suitcase for a while, it will magically make room for more things.

10. You know your bag is technically too big to be a carry-on, but you also know that you have gotten away with it in the past. What if today is the day they make you check it? And then, what if they lost it? There you’ll be, stranded in some foreign country, naked and alone!

11. Weather denial. You don't care what the forecast says, it's supposed to be warm where you are going and you are packing accordingly. Stupid weathermen are wrong most of the time anyway. You'll dress for the weather you want, not the weather you have.

12. Wrinkles. So. Many. Wrinkles!

No matter how hard women try, they will always have a tough time packing for a trip!

Need a place to stay if you are travelling to Cape Town? Book in at 808 Cartwright Corner today, for an affordable, self-catering apartment with amazing views of the Mother City.

Monday 29 June 2015

Cape Town International Airport Guide!

In this guide you will find info about WiFi, lounges, facilities, services and airport hotels. You can also read some of the traveler airport reviews to get a better idea of CapeTown International Airport.

Airport Lounges
If you are an economy class traveler, you can enter these lounges at Cape Town airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  §  Bidvest Premium Lounge Location: Domestic Terminal, airside, 4th floor. Showers are available. Hours: 5am – 8pm (Sun - Fri) 5am – 9pm (Sat). Lounge access: Pay at the door. BOOK ONLINE
  §  Bidvest Premium Lounge Location: International Terminal, airside, mezzanine, 3rd level. Showers are available. Hours: 5am – 12am. Lounge access: Pay at the door. BOOK ONLINE

Airport WiFi / Internet
WiFi is available at Cape Town Airport for a fee. The internet provider is “AlwaysOn”.

Airport Hotels
If sleeping at the Cape Town Airport does not appeal to you, there are some great hotels near the airport:

  §  Road Lodge Located within the airport ground. They do not offer day rooms.
  §  Medindi Manor 10 minutes to the airport

To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Cape Town International Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price. Book in at 808 Cartwright for a luxurious, affordable self-catering apartment with amazing views.

More Services, Facilities & Things to do
  §  ATMs / Cash Machines – Locations: Domestic Arrivals, Domestic Departures, International Departures.
  §  Baby Care – Baby changing facilities are available in most women’s washrooms
  §  Chapel / Prayer Rooms – While there is nothing advertised, if you ask airport staff members, they will direct you to the room.
  §  Currency Exchange – Locations: Domestic Departures, International Departures, International arrivals.
  §  Food & Drinks – There is a variety of eateries to choose from.
  §  Luggage, Storage & Lockers – Baggage can be stored at Bagport. Location: Ground floor, Parkade 2.
  §  Post Office – Location: Parkade 2, Ground Floor, past the Permit Office and SAPS offices. Hours: 8am – 4:30pm (Thurs – Tues) 8:30am – 4:30pm (Wed)
  §  Showers – Showers are available in the Bidvest Lounges
  §  Smokers Lounge – Location: International Terminal, Airside. Internet access is available here.

Airport Hours
The airport is open 24 hours

Airport Transportation
  §  Car Rentals – Avis, Europcar, First/Sixt, etc.
  §  Public Transportation – MyCiti Bus runs between the airport and Civic Centre.
  §  Shuttle Services – Airport Shuttle can take you to and from Cape Town International Airport at an affordable price.

  §  There is a whole Woolworths grocery store on the ground level at which you can buy snacks, in case you get hungry or thirsty after all the shops, kiosks, and restaurants have closed at 10:30 pm.
  §  There is a 'Flybrary' - a lounge with comfortable chairs and shelves of books to read - at International Arrivals. It may close after the last flight gets in around 10:30 pm, though, but it's a good place to leave a book you've read and take a new one to read during the night or your upcoming flight.
  §  After the Mugg & Bean on the restaurant / viewing deck level has closed for the night, you can relocate to the viewing deck itself. Tip: there is a power outlet on a pillar behind the children's playground where you can plug in your phone or computer. The rows of seats are cushioned with no arm rests between them, so you can stretch out fully.
  §  During the night the airport is very quiet but for periodic announcements about security and carry-on allowances. The lights stay on and it's not too cold.

  §  Airport check-ins and restaurants start re-opening at 4:00 am.

Friday 26 June 2015

Tallinn Airport’s new sleep pods

Tallin Airport is self-proclaimed as the world’s coziest airport and it just got a whole lot cozier with the introduction of the new sleep pods!

Tallinn Airport is the fifth Airport in the world where these Finnish innovative GoSleep Pods are available. The pods have already been welcomed at airports all around the world, providing users with privacy and silence in the midst of busy passenger traffic.

The difference between the Tallinn Airport GoSleep pods and the others around the world is that they are offered the tired passengers free-of-charge!

GoSleep Pod is a specially designed, stylish and sleek chair for tired passengers in need of rest. Tallinn has 5 pods in total. Each one begins as a chair, but transforms into a bed/cocoon as you recline and pull a curtain down over the front. Hand luggage can be stowed safely under the seat, and devices can be charged inside the pod. Not really tired? You might also consider borrowing a book from the airport library to curl up within your cradle. Passengers with return tickets to Tallinn are permitted to take the book with them on vacation, returning it when they fly back through. Cozy, right?

When travelling, we have often had to sleep between flights on plastic benches or on the floor at various airports. This gave rise to the idea of developing a more comfortable alternative for passengers. There are always thousands upon thousands of people at the world’s airports with no chance of getting the restful sleep that they need. GoSleep Pod allows you to work or sleep in your own private and quiet space.

It is worth noting that while Tallinn does technically close at night, travellers have been permitted to sleep in the public area if they have proof of onward travel the next morning. Otherwise, once you pass through security, these sleep pods will likely be a cheap spot for a quick recline before boarding your flight!

Contact Airport Shuttle for an affordable, reliable taxi service to or from Cape Town International Airport. Don't have a place to stay while visiting the Mother City? Make sure to book in at 808 Cartwright and enjoy the beautiful views!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

A Kid-Centered Airport – Singapore Changi

We’ve all been there. While family vacations are wonderful, there is that moment on route where you are just not positive the entire family will make it there in one piece. Whether it is because one sibling seems intent on torture, one child has gotten hungry o worst of all, a parent has forgotten a critical document – family airport time is evil.

In honour of parents who have to travel around the world in search of a fantastic holiday, here is all you need to know about Singapore Changi’s kid-friendly airport.

Butterfly Garden – This is the world's first Butterfly Garden in an airport. It is a tropical butterfly habitat with a profusion of flowering plants, lush greenery and a 6 metre grotto-waterfall. Your kids can go on an educational journey discovery with 1,000 species of butterflies.

Children's Playground – Escape from the heat and check out the indoor air conditioned playgrounds, where your kids can run around in comfort, there is even a three-story slide for the older kids!

Entertainment Deck – From LAN gaming and jamming studios to the MTV booth and various game console stations, your young ones will be spoilt for choice on the many entertainment choices the airport has to offer.

Entertainment Lounge – Enjoy a well-deserved break at the comfortable plush seats in the Entertainment lounge. Favourite television shows for all ages are available here. Your kids can also surf their favourite websites at the internet terminals located beside the TV area.

Family Zone – Families can relax and make use of the various facilities available including diaper changing rooms and nursing rooms. Children can occupy themselves watching cartoons on the televisions or having a go at the playground.

Enchanted Garden – An interactive experience, the Enchanted Garden "magically" comes to life with sight and sound, captivating visitors as they weave through the garden. Motion sensors trigger sounds of nature and blooming flowers while fibre-optic and LED lighting, embedded in the undulating pathways, form a fascinating carpet of sparkling lights.

Free Singapore Tours – Bring the family on an educational tour of Singapore during your transit. Choose between a Colonial and Culture tour.

Interactive Art – Let your kids get creative with woodblock rubbing, a popular Singapore art form from the 50s and 60s as they learn about South East Asia's culture and history.

Internet Terminals – With over 500 free internet terminals located in the airport, children can easy access their favourite websites and online games in just one click.

Koi Pond – Children can pick up pockets of knowledge on Koi and admire the beautiful fish as they swim around leisurely. Let your kids have a go at feeding the Koi at feeding time.

Movie Theatre – Catch the latest blockbusters for free at the 24-hour movie theatres. They have movies suitable for all ages that will provide family entertainment for hours.

Sunflower Garden – Families are greeted warmly by the beautiful blooming sunflowers and a fantastic view of the tarmac. At night, it transform into a light-themed garden with lighting effects and illuminating fixtures.

Swimming Pool – Find a cool oasis at the Balinese-themed swimming pool. While your kids have a splashing good time, you can relax with a good book and work up a tan by the pool side.

TV Lounges – Families can take a break and catch up on their favourite TV shows on the comfy couches.

Food – Pamper your kids with delicious burgers, chocolates, donuts, chicken and so much more from a wide variety of food joints.

Shopping – Your kids will go wild at the assortment of shops like Harrods, Kaboom and Kidztime!

Need to get to and from Cape Town International Airport? Book a shuttle from Airport Shuttle today and one of our reliable, friendly drivers will transport you for an affordable price!

Tuesday 23 June 2015

10 Questions you should ask before you rent a holiday home

At times, renting a holiday home, instead of booking into a hotel, apartment or guest house, can give you more bang for your buck. Typically, vacation homes can include things like free WiFi, phone calls, laundry services and you can save money on food costs.

Take a look at 808 Cartwright for an affordable, self-catering apartment with amazing views of Cape Town! They have all you need, from a heated indoor pool to a complimentary gym.

But, regardless if you’re looking to rent a holiday home, there are several questions you should ask before agreeing to any short-term rental…

  Ø  How are the reviews about the vacation rental property? Most online vacation rental companies such as Trip AdvisorFlipkey.com and Homeaway.com, provide reviews of the property and owner. Take your research a step further and contact previous renters or even the owner, to find out more information.

  Ø  How reputable is the vacation rental company? Nowadays anyone with a digital camera and Internet access can take beautiful pictures of a home and surrounding areas and upload them to a rental site. So remember, what you see is not always what you get. A simple Google Search can reveal telling information about a company. If you can, try visiting the home or area before submitting payment.

  Ø  What is the minimum stay required? Some apartments require at least a 3-5-night minimum stay or you may be charged an additional fee for short-term stays.

  Ø  What type of apartment building: walk-up or elevator access? If considering a vacation rental in cities like New York City or Paris, some apartments are only accessible by stairs, so make sure you ask about floor level access if you don’t want to climb up 20 flights of stairs.

  Ø  Are property amenities such as access to the gym, washer/dryer, fireplace and Internet included in the fee?

  Ø  Is the property child and/or pet friendly?

  Ø  Are cleaning fees included? Some vacation rental companies charge one fee for your reservation whereas some may charge a fee per day.

  Ø  Do you have access (e.g., telephone number and email address) to a 24-hour emergency contact or maintenance person? What if the electricity or plumbing goes out? How far are they located from the property?

  Ø  How prompt are the owner’s responses to your questions? If they are to slow to respond or impatient at the number of questions you ask, this could be a red flag.

  Ø  What are the cancellation policies? Typically cancellation policies vary. Check with the owner or property manager to learn more about the terms and conditions.

After you assess your rental needs, like size, price and location, ask these questions before you submit your payment to a rental owner or property manager.

Monday 22 June 2015

Use the new “Flapp” app to book flights to Cape Town

A brand new app has been launched for Android and iOS, it’s called Flapp! Flapp has been called the “two tap booking app” and is easily available to be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Flapp has created a new and simple way for passengers to book their commute between Johannesburg and Cape Town. And as more carriers take off, the local airline industry is seeing a shift in power back into the hands of the travelers. Flapp is a perfect tool for today’s travelers.

The two-hour flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town is still one of the busiest air routes in the world, and Flapp is designed to satisfy the individual needs of the specific group of travelers who fly this route regularly. By combining all airline content into one mobile app, Flapp offers customers a smooth and secure booking and payment system.

The app comes with some cool, innovative features:

- Real time fares from all airlines
- Results can be filtered by price or departure time
- Same day bookings (up to 2 hours before a flight departs)
- Passenger and credit card details can be saved for two-tap bookings
- Completely secure and makes checkout process fast

Booking patterns for the last year point to the significance of the new Flapp app. 43% of passengers who flew between Johannesburg and Cape Town in the last year booked their flights less than a week before they departed, while more than 90% paid for their bookings with a credit card.

Flapp caters for these travelers by offering a 7 day window of fares bookable for the week ahead. This lightweight design reduces app load time and overall data costs on the user’s end.

If you look at the top of Apple’s local trending searches list, Flapp is probably there. The company has said that their aim is to simplify traveler’s lives by providing the best possible user experience no matter the device or platform customers choose to engage on.

To download Flapp from the Play Store click here… and from the App Store click here…

Contact Airport Shuttle today for a reliable, affordable shuttle service to and from Cape Town International Airport - our friendly drivers will make sure to get you to your flight right on time!

Friday 19 June 2015

What should you bring on your family holiday?

What is your ideal family break? Take a look at the ideas for family holidays and use the tips and tricks to decide what to bring along.

     ·         Returning to Nature

Bird feed & Binoculars
With the forest literally on your doorstep, it is the perfect time to see local plant life and animals up close.

Wellies, warm coats & waterproofs
The weather could possible get wet and chilly, so make sure you’re prepared! Enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings wrapped up and ready to jump in a few puddles.

Home Comforts
Unwind with your favourite mug and snacks. Relax into the evening, while still enjoying the nature around you.

     ·         Relaxing & Unwinding

Art Friendly clothing
Creative and crafty activities are a fun way to spend the day indoors. Pack something comfy that you won’t mind getting a splash of paint or two on.

A Good Book
An absorbing read is a great way to wind down, and it’s even better if you’re curled up beside a fireplace on an autumn evening.

Home Comforts
Relax for the rest of the night with something tasty to eat. And, of course, your favourite mug.

     ·         Getting Active

Trainers & Tracksuit
Sportswear is essential if you’re looking ti get stuck into some energetic games and activities. You can never pack too many socks!

A Swimsuit
A must-pack item! Ride the rapids and flumes, stay on the go with water fitness, or just relax in the spa pools.

An Appetite
Get stuck into the restaurants and cafes, whether for a hearty evening meal or if you just fancy something indulgent.

     ·         Thrill Seeking

A Sense of Adventure
Let your inner adrenaline junkie go wild, whilst protecting yourself and your belongings. Zip lock plastic bags, water bottles and a repair kit containing safety pins and a sewing kit are a must for the adventurous.

A Swimsuit
Yes, your trusty swimsuit is vital if you’re going to be getting wet during your adventure.

An Appetite
You’ll definitely have a huge appetite on this family holiday. Find a local eatery to enjoy a tasty meal after an action-packed day of adventures.

Things to keep the kids entertained
- An easy to use disposable camera
- Ideas for car games like “I Spy”
- Stories on CDs or MP3
- Favourite toys, games and blankets

Packing tips and tricks
- Roll your clothes up to prevent creases
- Keep your toiletries in sealed bags
- Plan outfits in advance to save space

If you find yourself in the Mother City, make sure to book yourself in at the luxurious, affordable, self-catering apartment - 808 Cartwright Corner.

Strange things that have happened at the airport

Millions of people pass through airports every year, and a few of these experiences are bound to be a bit unconventional. With the madness of the airports themselves, it’s not really a surprise that strange things happen.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most bizarre things to happen at the airport.

Radioactive Woman
The threat of terrorism has become part of daily life and airports are naturally high profile targets. Technology plays a big part in countering this effect, but incorrect results aren’t uncommon. One case involved a woman who managed to shut down a whole terminal when she triggered a radiation alarm. Yes, it would have been a cool story if she has been a 50m tall radioactive woman with crazy powers; in reality she has recently taken the isotope Iodine-131 as part of her cancer treatment.

Lounge Bare Essentials
Anyone who has spent time in an airport lounge will know that feeling when the remote control has vanished, forcing everyone to watch the CNN updates. It’s clearly impossible to please all of the people, all of the time when it comes to TV programming. However, in 2005, someone in New Delhi airport made this task even more difficult by screening 20 minutes’ worth of pornography on several screens in the visitor lounge.

Did you Pack the Case Yourself?
The staff at the airport are used to most tricks pulled by passengers trying to get around hand luggage restrictions and fees. Agents at Bromma airport in Sweden discovered that the extra weight of a checked bag was actually a dwarf. Apparently it was just a prank, so the airport didn’t press charges, but they failed to see the funny side.

And Then I Woke Up in…
Have you ever woken up in a strange place after a heavy night of drinking, like a dumpster, the street or a hospital? Well a traveler decided to sleep in the airport the night before his morning flight, but unlike most people he was totally wasted when he made this decision. The quiet, welcoming spot he chose to sleep on turned out to be the baggage belt, and when the system started in the morning, the drunk man went in and his happy journey came to an end when the security staff spotted him going through the X-ray machine.

Sir, You Need to Change your Diet
Gold smuggling is popular in India due to high import duties, and criminals have tried everything to trick customs. Unfortunately one man who arrived at Goa airport got caught out when a body cavity search revealed six gold bars in his rectum! Whether the bars had to be extracted manually, or nature took its painful course is unknown.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

7 Reasons to visit Cape Town this winter

Everybody loves summer; you can strip off the layers and spend time on the beach. For me, I love winter, because I find it easier to get warm than to cool down. There is nothing better than to cuddle up to a fire with some hot chocolate, a blanket and a loved one. How about snuggling up with you boyfriend on the couch with some movies and pizza. Well if that doesn’t convince you, how about this...

Holidays in Cape Town are much cheaper

South Africa has a low and high tourist season just like most destinations around the world. That might be as obvious as stripes on a zebra, but a shocking fact is not many people know that. Accordingly all the Restaurants, accommodation and tour providers drop their prices significantly between May and September (low season) in Cape Town. This means that even in the magical wintery weather, the Mother City is still a hotspot.

It’s prime whale-watching season

Every June, a number of magnificent whale species migrate to the coast of the seaside town of Hermanus to breed. This charming little town is just an hour out of Cape Town and it is widely regarded as the best land-based whale-watching location in the world. Travellers can look on awestruck as pods thrash, breach and seemingly conduct their very own underwater symphonies in the ocean spray. If you aren’t able to make it in June, don’t fret because some of the whales, depending on species, stay in the area for a number of months.

· Southern Right whale
This whale is distinguished by callosities (calluses) on its head, a broad back without a dorsal fin and a long, arching mouth that begins above the eye. These mammals often swim close to the shore, a fact that makes them rather easy to spot.

Best time to spot them: July – November.

· Humpback whale
The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobby head. Curious about their environment, they will approach whale-watching boats closely, often sunbathing near the boat for a while. They pass through Hermanus on their way to a scuba diving holiday in St Lucia.
Best time to spot them: May – December.

· Bryde’s whale
Bryde’s whales are named after the Norwegian consul to South Africa, Johan Bryde, who helped set up the first whaling station in Durban. They are medium-sized and dark grey in colour with a white underbelly.
Best time to spot them: all year round.

There’s no better time to shark cage dive

The Great White Shark capital of the world is located a mere 2 hour drive outside of Cape Town in Gansbaai. There is no time like the present to face your fears and go visit the friendly and misunderstood creatures. Between the months of May and September, shark activity is particularly higher. An estimated 60 000 Cape Fur seals, the preferred food of the ferocious fish, make the narrow strip of water known as Shark Alley their breeding home base. For an adrenaline rush like no other, I suggest a face-to-face encounter from behind a submerged, reinforced steel cage.

The Weather’s perfect for hiking and exploring

In 2012 Table Mountain was inaugurated as one of the 7 Wonders of The Nature World. While on most brochures prefect a sun kissed image of the majestic mass, a soft winter sun also casts the hulking summit in a favourable light. In the cooler seasons it is ideal to hike in the mornings or afternoons as the temperature is perfect for hiking. If you don’t believe me, try it for youself.

The waves are best in winter

The Mother City boasts many surf spots along the shoreline, from coves with small and manageable swells to sprawling beaches flaunting gigantic waves. The usually icy Cape Peninsula water temperature rises during the months on June, July and August rendering winter in Cape Town perfect for surfers. The storms during the colder seasons make for bigger swells

The flowers along the West Coast are at their most beautiful in late winter/early spring

I know that viewing flowers is not on your top 10 ‘to-do’s’ in Cape Town. But there is something so special about the display along South Africa’s West Coast between July and September. While Namaqualand is probably the most famous location to view the hundreds of kilometres of flowers, the Mother City also likes to show off. Just an hour out of Cape Town at the West Coast National Park, you can see one of the most breath taking display’s of flowers.

Help those in need during chilly months

It is no secret that South Africa continues to struggle with social and environmental issues. For those less fortunate the rain, wind and snow exacerbate the already dire situations they find themselves in. So, if you are feeling particularly philanthropic around the same time that the travel bug bites. Why not chose the Mother City as your destination and give back while you are here.

For a quick and friendly airport shuttle service to or from Cape Town International Airport, contact Airport Shuttle Cape Town.

Monday 15 June 2015

How to keep your belongings safe when your fly

To make sure the only things stolen are moments watching a Thai beach sunset or a holiday romance kiss, just follow these 10 simple tips that should ensure you keep your belongings where they belong.

1. Ensure you Insure It
Insurance is one of the most important things to remember before setting off on your travels. Both for your belongings and your health; if everything really does go wrong, at least you know you'll be able to recoup the costs of any stolen belongings or medical expenses.

2. Look after Your Bling
Large wads of cash, passports, credit cards and anything valuable or precious should always be carried as close to your person as possible. Don't stick it in a pocket on the outside of your backpack; keep it either in a money belt under your clothes or in a smaller day pack that is always with you.

You’ll often be separated from your big luggage, but if you keep your most precious items close, at the very least you'll always have cash, and the means to get home.

3. The Writing's on the Bag
It's not only opportunistic bag-nappers that pose a threat to your luggage. Airports, luggage carousels and other travelers can pose as much of a threat, albeit accidental. Nowadays many bags look so similar that it's all too easy for a travel-weary backpacker to lift the wrong pack from the belt.

Avoid this happening by writing your address and name clearly on your bag in permanent marker pen as well as adding a distinguishing feature whether it's a piece of ribbon, Luggage Eyes or a Black Sabbath sticker - basically anything that allows you to quickly identify your own bag.

4. Zip It
Check all zips and locks before you travel to make sure they work. Invest in a couple of mini zip padlocks or cable ties for when in busy markets or areas where you're surrounded by people as these will add a little extra protection to your kit. The harder your bag is to get in to, the less a thief will bother. They're always looking for an easy target, so don't make yourself one!

5. Keep it Close
When you need to get some shut-eye, whether it's at the airport or on a train, always make sure that you have your backpack either under your head or as close to you as you can; attached by some parachute cord or a strap.

That way, if anyone tries to rifle through its contents, you should wake up. Thieves work with such speed that they could half-inch your bag in seconds from under a table as you sit blissfully unaware, sipping tea in a café. Slip the handles of your pack under the leg of your chair so as not to give them the chance.

6. Lock it Up
You may think your bags will be safe in your hotel or hostel but why take a chance? Buy a handy Cable Lock and attach your bag to any heavy object like the bed or radiator, for extra security. If your hotel has a safe, use it. Try and find accommodation via recommendations by friends or at the very least, good website reviews.

7. Know what you’ve Got Before it's gone
Simple but useful for checking your possessions as you travel, a list, made prior to jetting off, of all your belongings, will help you keep track of everything as you circumnavigate the globe. You can add to the list by hand as you accumulate tacky souvenirs and pairs of Bermuda shorts in your ever-expanding pack.

8. Low Key is Best
If you're going to carry flashy gear, designer brands and hi-tech, expensive gadgets, try and do it discreetly as possible. Make your battered, old and unattractive items the ones you show off to potential thieves. Nothing screams ‘target’ more than someone with a Rolex and Nikon camera bag draped over their arm while sporting the latest Ray Bans.

9. Slash the Odds
Bag slashing is thankfully a relatively rare occurrence. This is when unimaginative thieves simply use a knife or razor to slit the side of your bag and yank things out. You can get special wire mesh to go inside your pack making it much harder for thieves to use this technique.

Or, at the very least ensure you pack your worn clothing on the outer edges of your bag, increasing the chances of bag slashers getting away with your dirty undies and not much else.

10.  Home is Where your Pack is
Above all else, treat your rucksack like your best friend. It's your home away from home so sleep close to it, use it as a pillow and do whatever you can to keep it out of harm’s way.

Need a shuttle service to or from Cape Town International Airport? Visit Airport Shuttle's website and book a taxi today!

Friday 12 June 2015

The world’s worst airports

In a survey, travellers were quick to provide feedback on those airports and terminals that left more than a little to be desired – in terms of services, amenities, sleep ability and at times, good old kindness. Travellers had to consider just how limited they thought the four C’s (Comfort, Conveniences, Cleanliness and Customer service) of airport travel were.

Comfort means crowded terminals, uncomfortable and limited seating options and unpleasant temperatures.
Conveniences includes non-existent 24 hour food options, a shortage of activities to do and no WiFi
Cleanliness refers to dirty floors, the smell bathrooms and the untidy food courts.
Customer Service is all about unhelpful, unfriendly staff and anti-airport sleeping policies.  

Here are the top 10 worst airports based on travellers overall airport experience:

#1 Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport – Pakistan
“This airport is like a central prison. Many of the touts and taxi drivers loot people at the airport and outside.” – a traveller.

#2 Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport – Saudi Arabia
“It is unbelievable how the immigration officers do their job. While hundreds of passengers are in the queue these guys are talking to each other.” – a traveller.

#3 Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport – Nepal
“Just make sure that you never, EVER need to use the washrooms in this airport.” – a traveller.

#4 Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines
“Terminal 1 is a dirty, crowded, noisy, extremely hot airport. There are nowhere close to enough seats for even half the people waiting to sit down.” – a traveller.

#5 Tashkent International Airport –Uzbekistan
“The person behind you will be trying to cut in front by subtly ramming their baggage cart into the back of your legs. Stand your ground!” – a traveller.

#6 Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport – France
“This airport is the worst in the world. Seriously, the place doesn’t look like a place where people from many countries arrive.” – a traveller.

#7 Frankfurt Hahn International Airport –Germany
“Since the seats are metallic and not comfortable, the best places to sleep are actually on the luggage conveyor belts, or on the floor just next to the rental car stands.” – a traveller.

#8 Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport – Italy
“The only way this airport could be improved would be to destroy it and rebuild.” – a traveller

#9 Berlin Tegel International Airport –Germany
“Lights are on, cleaners and security walk around and there is limited seating, however you are not hassled and you feel safe.” – a traveller

#10 New York City LaGuardia InternationalAirport – USA
“Once you are through security, a beer is pretty much a necessity. But wait! No can do, because the bar is on the other side.” – a traveller

For a reliable shuttle service to or from Cape Town International Airport, Airport Shuttle is the answer - book one of our taxi's today!

Gift the travelers in your life with an Airbnb gift card

The company, Airbnb, now allows customers to buy gift cards for its short-term rentals platforms. The VP of the company, Mike Curtis announced at the company’s conference that you can now give the gift of Airbnb!

It was also revealed that there are new tools for hosts that make it easier for them to set prices and get the exact types of bookings they want.

Gift cards are available on Airbnb’s website and are sent to recipients via email, though you’re able to personalize the looks of the gift cars with a variety of different travel photos. The credits don’t expire and can be used at any of the company’s listings around the world!

The new personalization tools for hosts aim to make it easier for them to get bookings. They include a new price recommendation feature called price tips, which will begin rolling out soon.

The company recently wrote in a blog post, “You’ll be able to get personalized, daily pricing information right in your calendar, so you can see how adjusting your price could increase your chances of getting booked, or take advantage of strong interest in visiting your area.”

Finally, Airbnb is doing more to personalise search results based on the preferences of the host. Some hosts prefer more frequent, but shorter stays, while others prefer less frequent but longer stays.

Airbnb will now take these types of preferences into account when surfacing search results to travelers – so search results for two days in Paris and two weeks in Paris may turn different sets of results.

So, give the traveler in your life a Airbnb gift card and put the world at their doorstep!

For a self-catering apartment with amazing views of the Mother City - book in at 808 Cartwright Corner today!

Wednesday 10 June 2015

How to sleep in an airport

Can you really sleep in an airport and how do you do it? Well, here are a few tips that have been gathered over the years to get you started on your airport sleeping adventures.

1. Always have a backup plan
This is the most important tip for anyone who voluntarily sleeps in airports. Some airport officials won’t like the fact that you are sleeping there, although you won’t necessarily be kicked out. So, you need to be prepared to answer questions and present your outbound airline ticket. It seems like the airport officials don’t appreciate people using the airport as their own personal hotel rooms!

2. Be prepared
When reports of an upcoming storm or erupting volcano are in the news a few days before your trip, you really have no excuse but to go to the airport prepared for a longer than normal airport stay. Here are some items for your airport survival kit:

- Cheap inflatable raft
- Eye shades (sunglasses will do)
- Ear plugs
- Bottle water
- Snacks
- Entertainment (iPod, laptop, books, magazines)
- Headphones
- Alarm clock
- Disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer
- Blanket or pillow (sleeping bag)

Quick Tip: If you are flying by yourself write a note saying “Wake me up at 7:00pm” and stick it on yourself. It works, people will wake you up!

3. Be safe
Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends or family. It’s always good to know where security is. Know where the office is and look out for cameras in the spot you decide to sleep. If you are alone it is recommended that you sleep near other travelers, you don’t want your laptop or cellphone to go missing.

4. Get  there early
If you are staying at a busy airport overnight, you should try and get there early to get a good spot, especially during peak season. Some airports are so popular that they look like refugee camps on an average night.

5. Scope it out
Finding a good spot may be your biggest challenge. If the situation looks bad, explore the airport and different terminals. Consider seating, temperature, announcements and people traffic when you are looking for the best place to spend the night. You may need to get creative such as sleeping on luggage conveyor belts and in wheelchairs. 

6. Just park it!
Whether you are stuck in the airport for the night or you choose to be there, there may be a chance that you will be uncomfortable and unhappy. If you are travelling on a budget consider renting a car and sleeping in it for the night instead of wasting money on a hotel.

7. Protect your bags
A major concern when sleeping in an airport is obviously getting robbed while you sleep. So, you’ll need to come up with a way to make sure no one can access or take your bags. Its best to sleep with your bag zippers facing the floor or yourself, because gaining access will make a noise and wake you up.  Or try sleeping with your arms or legs over your bags, so that you will be woken up if they move. Your last resort may be to chain your bag to your leg or arm.

8. Act innocent and behave
Even if you sleep at airports on a regular basis, don’t act like a professional! Act like you really don’t want to be there and there is absolutely nowhere else to go. Crying helps a lot. However, remember the airport is not a hotel and the system should not be abused.

9. Late night snacks
Because many of the food concessions and restaurants close at night, you’ll want to stock up on water and late night snacks before they close. There are been times when generous vendors will give away their unsold food to desperate looking people wandering aimlessly around the airport

10. Dress for the occasion
Dress in layers. Have clothes that you will be comfortable if it is unbearably hot or extremely cold. Pack a hat and fleece blanket in your carry-on, you think that sounds silly, but the airport can be a cold place day or night.

11. Keep quiet
Always be considerate of your fellow airport sleepers. Just because you can’t sleep doesn’t mean others should be awake too. Take a hint when sleepers look at you with death stares – you’re too loud!

Sleeping in the airport can not only be extreme budget travel, but it can also be an adventure! So, enjoy it and have fun. 

For a reliable and affordable shuttle service to and from Cape Town International Airport, book a taxi with Airport Shuttle today!

Tuesday 9 June 2015

More bad habits of ineffective hotels

Last week we looked at the bad habits of ineffective hotels, but it seems like there is more to the list that was previously discussed. Cheap hotels shouldn’t get a free ride just because they are considered to be budget accommodation, so here are more habits of ineffective hotels – the budget version.

#1 Mini-bar – Having a fridge in your room is great, but having a mini-bar – not so much! Although some people sneak a snack or two and then put it back before anyone notices, some hotels actually charge you for the item even if you put it back.

#2 Hygiene – Who ever said that a small bathroom doesn’t matter obviously hasn’t seen some hotels where the toilet is literally inside the shower! Yes, it’s great not to share a bathroom, but if you can’t even manage to fit through the bathroom door then the benefit doesn’t really count.

#3 Outlets – Perhaps the only thing that is possibly worse than a lack of electrical outlets in the room, is electrical outlets that look like they could kill you if you touch them.

#4 Plastic – Plastic wrap on the head board of the bed? Plastic wrap on the couches or chairs? Well, that’s one way to make you feel cheap when you book in at a hotel that costs barely anything.

#5 Mattresses – It would be nice to know how many hoteliers have actually slept in their own beds. Many are completely worn out or damaged. The worst thing is arriving in your room and having to flip your own mattress because budget hotels rarely do it.

#6 WiFi – A lot of budget hotels advertise free WiFi, which is great compared to the luxurious hotels that make you pay extra. The thing they don’t tell you is that you will probably have to stick your laptop out of the window just to get a connection.

#7 Storage – Some hotels aim to make you pay extra for every little thing. And this includes storage. Charging extra for leaving your bags with them for those few hours before your flight seems to be the trend with budget hotels these days.

It seems like with budget hotels these days, simply having a roll of toilet paper and free WiFi is a luxury. What other bad hotel habits have you noticed in your travels? 

For an affordable, self-catering apartment with none of these bad habits - book in at 808 Cartwight Corner!

Monday 8 June 2015

Quick Survival Tips if you are ever stuck at the Airport

Stuck at the airport? It could be for a number of reasons; a winter storm, a late flight or technical issues. Whatever the reason may be, make sure you are fully prepared with some of these invaluable tips.

Keep your cell ready > As soon as your flight cancellation is announced, quickly call the airline or your travel agent. You can book a new flight to prevent you from getting stuck at the airport again.

Get a business lounge day pass > Many airports now offer one-day passes to their business lounges for a small fee, which means access to  a business centre with desks, data ports, computers, WiFi hotspots and sometimes even showers.

Look beyond the gate > If you don’t need to camp out right at your gate, consider relocating to one of the less busy eateries inn the terminal, where you’re more likely to find an available electrical outlet.

Pamper yourself > If you’ve got the time and money, most major airports have reasonably priced services for massages, facials and haircuts to help the time go by a little more pleasantly.

Stock up on supplies > Most airport’s food stores close before midnight, so if you’re stuck overnight, make sure you stock up on enough food and drink to last the night.

Practice safe napping > If you have to take a nap, put your feet on top of your bags. Stick your cash and credit cards in your shoe or in the pocket of your pants.

Network > Getting cancelled can actually mean a great opportunity to network and make connections with fellow business travelers. Carry extra business cards just in case!

Have you tried any of these tips before?  Make sure you are prepared just in case cancellations or delays occur at the airport.

For a reliable shuttle service to and from Cape Town International Airport, book one of our taxis with Airport Shuttle today!

Friday 5 June 2015

DIY – Travel Keepsake Box

Since technology is pretty advanced these days, we all have digital cameras and smartphones so its easy to just snap a picture and fill it away on the computer.

But, what do you do with all the postcards, maps, tickets and other items you’ve collected on your travels? It’s about time they get organized, so here’s how to create your very own travel keepsake box for each place you’ve visited.

- Paper mache book box, or any sturdy box
- Paint and foam brush
- Maps and scrapbook paper
- Scissors or X-acto knife
- Decoupage glue
- Foam brush
- Adhesive letters
- Craft glue
- Travel memorabilia photocopies
- Embellishments as desired

- Paint “pages” of book or sides of the box and allow them to dry completely.
- Cut map to fit front and back of the box – don’t worry about completely covering the spine because you’ll be using scrapbook paper for that area. Brush glue over front and back covers of the box then cover with map. Apply more glue to front and back covers with brush, completely sealing the map – if you’ve cut your map a little short, fill in with small scrap pieces from a map then glue them into place to cover the exposed areas. Allow the covers to dry completely.
- Cut scrapbook paper to a size that allows it to cover the spine of the box, and then label it with adhesive letters. It’s a lot easier to do this when the paper is flat, before you glue it to the spine.
- Glue scrapbook paper in place by applying glue to the edges of the front and back cover. Don’t glue the entire piece of paper to the spine or you’ll have problems opening and closing your box.
- Glue memorabilia to the front and back of the box. Then apply a protective layer of glue and allow it to dry.
- Fill with mementos from your travels and display.

This nifty little travel keepsake box is simple and easy to make, not to mention the supplies are cheap. It gives you an ideal place to store your mementos instead of stuffing them away in the “don’t know what to do with” drawer or closet.

Need a reliable shuttle service to or from Cape Town International Airport? You need Airport Shuttle! Book a taxi on our website today.